poetry – surrender

trusting what I cannot 

see with my eyes,

I see what needs to 

be seen.


the darkness of spaces

unexplored, calls to me 

to look, to listen.


and what if I fall 

into the abyss 

of past traumas?


will my wagon of wounds

which always follows,

finally fall away as


I surrender?

for reflection

To all of my dear readers:

Creating time to reflect, contemplate, meditate, pray…whatever we choose to do to be still…is an important gift to ourselves.

This morning, I received the quote below in my email box. Following the quote, the sender provided a question for reflection.  I took a few moments to read it several times; each time asking myself the question which follows the quote below.

“Remember that you ought to behave in life as you would at a banquet. As something is being passed around, it comes to you. When it comes to you, stretch out your hand gently, take a portion of it politely, but pass it on. Or, it has not come to you yet. Do not project your desire to meet it. So act always in life.”


And…the question:

What are you hearing in this?

You are invited to read and reflect upon the question as well.


This is NOT about resisting any government actions, beliefs, or an individual’s ideas and words about what we should be doing, thinking, etc.

What we resist, persists.

 – Carl Jung

I could write even more about an externally focused and instigated resistance. In fact there are many examples of this all around our world today. However, the resistance that I am focused on today is our internal resistance to ourselves. Many are not even aware of this internal resistance. Over the years, I referred to it as my head being out of sync with my heart. Even as I knew that I nearly always listened to the messages in my head rather than deeply listening and following the soft path my heart was leading me to.

The messages my head were completely influenced by people, ideas, training, and experiences designed to keep me in “my lane” and better prepared to “fit in”. This is where the conflict with my heart was most present. So, does resistance at this internal level influence the external resistance? I feel that it does in BIG ways. For example, if we are not listening to the soft entreaties of our hearts, how will we ever hear the voices of others who may not see things as we do?

Distinguishing the origin of the messages we hear from within can be tricky when we are new to the idea that there are multiple sources from within.

What a liberation to realize that the ‘voice in my head’ is not who I am. ‘Who am I, then?’ The one who sees that.
– Eckhart Tolle

Trouble is, we are moving too fast, driven by the messages in our heads that we “must do this”, and then “get that done” and “don’t forget that you have to get to this thing, too.” In some ways, slowing down feels like laziness; non-productive time and we cannot allow ourselves to BE that! Slowing down is opposite what we have been told, shown, taught and what we hear over and over.

And yet, that is the first step. Slowing down. Allowing yourself to be still long enough to notice your mind running, spouting messages, reminding you of what you have yet to DO, reminding you of something in the past, judging you for it and causing you to fear something in the future related to that past experience. Sound familiar? Ugh…tiring and worrisome. Still, allowing some time to be still so that we can notice that voice and know that we are NOT that voice is key to beginning to experience the inner voice (of the heart, your intuition) and trusting that it has your best interest at “heart” – and oh yes…it’s the heart. Trust…learning to trust ourselves. Until we do, we live in resistance.

Here’s another way we resist ourselves.

Have you ever had an experience in which you just didn’t feel like going to the gym or to some class, and part of that reason is that you don’t feel physically well or would prefer to prepare yourself a cup of tea and allow some time to read that book, or sit quietly to enjoy a view, or spend time with a trusted pet? Many of us have…or are still having them from time to time. Rather than honoring to the desire to be gentle with ourselves – the tea, the quiet, the book or time with a pet – we give into the impetus to get going, get to the gym, get a shower and get on with the day. We have one more time missed an opportunity to listen to the softer message of our heart. Perhaps our body needs rest, rather than more intense exercise. Perhaps we need to be quiet in our personal space rather than be in the loud noise and frenetic energy of the gym. There is a time and place for everything. Ours is to discern what is best for us now…in this moment. We have the ability, the power – all that we need – to discern what is best for ourselves.

We will continue to resist many experiences, or potential experiences, externally if we are not beginning to address our internal resistance.

If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

 – Wayne Dyer

Slow down. Listen to yourself. See what changes for YOU!

be your wild self

“The self that appeals to me is the self that has not been conditioned solely by culture, whether family, religion, education, or economics, but rather the one found under these systems of domestication –the wild self, the self at once sovereign and entwined with the living world. It is this self that can extend its reach into the surrounding rings of connection–with vacant lots, watersheds, returning salmon, with children and struggling communities–and sense its intimate bond with all of them. This self is co-mingled with all the others that share this shining planet. When we can step into this wider and wilder state of identity, our isolation falls away and we return to a state of participation and belonging.”

 – Francis Weller, author of The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals for Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief*

There are so many things in our world today that are sad, disturbing, scary; beautiful, happy, and hopeful. Our challenge is to find our center so we do not lose perspective on what is real. No, I’m not referring to news.

I am referring to what is real within each of us – that only we can know and feel for ourselves.

It is apparent as we look around that many among us rely upon messages from many sources to shape what we believe about ourselves and therefore about others. We have all been affected by the constancy and consistency of these messages over many years. It is up to us, individually, to challenge our assumptions, our beliefs and therefore our words and actions.

If we read closely, slowly, and perhaps more than once, the quote above from Francis Weller, we may feel a little something unfamiliar, or even a bit odd. His words remind us of just how disconnected we are…from the real essence of ourselves – our wild self.

Could it be that questioning and shedding beliefs that we cannot substantiate as real or resonant within as being true for our wild selves, will bring us home to ourselves and to each other?

Is it possible that the simple act of inquiring within can begin to bring us back from the pervasive tribalism to the connection of community that is life-sustaining?

I am also reminded of just how deep our unacknowledged and unhealed grief goes and how it impacts our feelings, thoughts and actions. In a previous post on grief I shared the five gates of grief that Francis Weller explains in-depth in his book, The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals for Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief.

If we allow ourselves to “go there” into that dark well of sorrow and sadness, much light and freedom await. With freedom and light dawns an acceptance of life with all of its beauty and darkness. With light we see beyond the fear that often causes us to behave in ways that are not honoring of who we really are (our wild self) or those upon whom we project that unacknowledged fear, the resulting anger and the unhealed grief.

Reclaiming ourselves is the work of our lives. Growing in that reclamation process, we make powerful contributions to the collective of humanity, and our individual evolution.

Is it easy to do? No.

Is it easier to keep doing what we are doing and living and believing as we do? Yes.

Is it in our best interest (individually or collectively) to keep doing what we do and expect a different result to somehow occur, show up, or otherwise fix what needs to be fixed? Actually, I think this concept is named insanity and is widely attributed to Albert Einstein.

Will we experience surprises in our lives even if we do nothing? Yes…and the surprises may not be the ones we would prefer if we otherwise step into and take responsibility for the wholeness (holiness) of our lives.

Get to know who is …”under these systems of domestication…” 

Be your wild self.

Where there is sorrow, there is holy ground.

Oscar Wilde






* From “The Alchemy of Identity or Who Are We When Everything Falls Away 03/08/13” on the “Writings” page of francisweller.net; retrieved 10/08/18.

listening…to ourselves

“For far too long we have been seduced into walking a path that did not lead us to ourselves. For far too long we have said yes when we wanted to say no. And for far too long we have said no when we desperately wanted to say yes…

When we don’t listen to our intuition, we abandon our souls. And we abandon our souls because we are afraid if we don’t, others will abandon us.”
–  Terry Tempest Williams

Listening to my intuition (or my gut, as some prefer to say) is something that I seek to remain conscious of now. For years, listening to myself, my soul, my heart (or whatever I called it then and now) was a tug of war at times. When my intuition aligned with my thinking there was no problem. However, when there was a difference in what I felt and what I thought, often my thoughts won the tug of war. And when that happened, things didn’t quite turn out as I had hoped they would.

Lesson learnedmore than once.

It isn’t always easy to trust what you hear from yourself, from within – even when you are listening. Our minds are powerful and for good reason. We need our thinking minds to help us navigate a lot of our life experience here. However, I have concluded at this point in my life that when I allow my mind to overtake or drown out the intuitive part of my awareness, it is usually because I want to be included; to not stand out; and to not be perceived as different. Often that meant keeping quiet and not speaking up.

Finding my voice has happened through years of experiences in which I was not saying what I really wanted to say…if I was saying anything at all. If you think about it, perhaps you can see where you may have been silent or may not have spoken your own truth about some aspect of your life experience. And at what cost?

I used to think this was more of a problem for women. Today, I know that trusting ourselves, our truth and being comfortable with who we are – what we believe and being unafraid to be that – is not gender specific.

When we give up on ourselves, our inner voice, and abandon our souls, we miss out on important aspects of living – what it is and what it can be. Because we are each different, by design, we see many things differently. And that is no reason to abandon, or otherwise not trust, the felt sense of your intuition.

Our differences make us strong together.


“At times you have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself.”

 – Alan Alda



anger, rage and healing

I really believe that all of us have a lot of darkness in our souls. Anger, rage, fear, sadness. I don’t think that’s only reserved for people who have horrible upbringings. I think it really exists and is part of the human condition. I think in the course of your life you figure out ways to deal with that.

 – Kevin Bacon

In the course of our lives, we hope that we figure out ways to deal with the “anger, rage, fear, sadness” that we all feel.

I have written previously about grief. In some ways, I feel as if some of our fear, anger, and rage is rooted in the sadness of the unfelt, inexperienced grief. It is also worth mentioning here, that anger and rage also have connections to, if not deeper roots, in fear.

Many of us were taught to be “good”; to behave, to not say a “cross word” or to “keep our thoughts to ourselves.” When we are not in nurturing environments, where we are invited to talk about our feelings – whatever they may be – we generally put them away. We essentially bury them. We sure don’t believe rage is good….or that we are capable of feeling anything as intense and ugly in its display as that. Right?

Did you know that these buried feelings leak out? Did you know they find their way to the surface of our experiences – to the light of day, through the words we speak, the sharp judgment of others or the actions we take? Oh, how we wish they would remain buried…deeply buried in the dark recesses of the past. No one wants to dredge up all that stuff, right?


It would be impossible to estimate how much time and energy we invest in trying to fix, change and deny our emotions – especially the ones that shake us at our very core, like hurt, jealousy, loneliness, shame, rage and grief.

 – Debbie Ford

There are many ways in which the unexpressed, the unfelt or unspoken feelings manifest within. Depression. Chronic headaches. Hives or other breakouts. Stomach ulcers. Excessive weight gain.

How do we unleash this dark monster that lies so deep within us? How do we acknowledge all of these feelings, express all of this anger and process all of our grief?

There are so many ways to do the extremely important work of healing ourselves. And for each individual, what will ultimately facilitate the effective and successful reclaiming of oneself, is different. It’s also important to remember that it is a process, and not a one time fix.

Meditating, guided meditations, extensive journaling, screaming into pillows, beating our fists into pillows, talk therapy, crying all of those tears which have been held back for so very long, and the list goes on. There are many ways to embark upon this path. Taking responsibility for our healing is one of the greatest gifts we give ourselves…and others. When the breakthrough begins, we may notice that we have found more energy. We may find a part of ourselves that we didn’t even know we were missing. We find that compassion toward and acceptance of others where THEY are is so much easier.

How does one know if she has forgiven? You tend to feel sorrow over the circumstance instead of rage, you tend to feel sorry for the person rather than angry with him. You tend to have nothing left to say about it all.

 – Clarissa Pinkola Estes

This is the work of our lives. May you be blessed as you take those first sacred steps into the beauty that the darkness will unveil.

Love is always a heartbeat away…literally.


in just 24 hours…

…so much can shift. Indeed in a moment, our lives can change.

The last 24 hours have been challenging on many fronts. Watching drama unfold in many places close to me, I felt the ache of the seeming unraveling of the fabric of an immediate and extended family. What I realize is that some are in the process of individuating and others are seeking to fit in…at any cost. The cost of “fitting in” is very high and those who are unconscious to what they are choosing to do will eventually come home to themselves and see what was lost in the venture of life thus far (or they will not). I finally started to wake up to this years ago…and the road is bumpy and challenging and deeply rewarding and most of all, ongoing.

The pull for us to fit in is powerful, for belonging is what we seek, and we fear being marginalized, left out or chastised for being different…truly being ourselves. Fitting in and belonging are very different things, as Brene Brown has clarified in her years of research. Nevertheless, fitting in is still the norm for many who have not yet seen the wall ahead.

“Fitting in is about assessing a situation and becoming who you need to be to be accepted. Belonging, on the other hand, doesn’t require us to change who we are; it requires us to be who we are.”

Our internal process of shifting from unconscious to conscious is multi-dimensional and requires so much of the following; acceptance of who we are, who we have been, what we wish to be and do; mixed with a lot of love, forgiveness, acceptance and courage. Courage, which is born in the heart leads us to fully embrace our vulnerability as we step fully into our life each moment, each day and in each situation which challenges us to the very core of who we are. I had to return to what I know as I awoke this morning, for the last 24 hours challenged me…and my heart was aching.

I was concerned for a family member in the hospital, while watching the loose fabric of my immediate and extended family unravel as sides were taken over some dangerous propaganda. The disparate views and conflation of topics made it all the more challenging to observe. I simply felt sad about it all as I realized it was a living, breathing microcosm of where our country and planet are today.

Even as I feel deep sadness, I know all of this is a necessary part of life…today…here…now. It is a part of the process of the collective awakening of humanity.

Here is what I know…

Faith and Trust in the Energy of Love to transform all that it touches will get us through this for as long as it takes. I know I will not live long enough to see the results of the current shift across the world and my faith in love and the unseen and unknown remind me that I am grateful to be here now.

When I feel sad, lost or separated from those I love, I return to what is grounding…my love for trees and what they show us by their very being. Yesterday, a fellow blogger shared a quote early in the day which seemed to be preparing me for the day ahead. Thank you, Theresa, Soul Gatherings for this quote:

Storms make oaks take deeper root.

~ George Herbert ~

Early this morning, as I enjoyed my coffee with soft music in the background, a song started to play that I have always found soothing.  I listened and allowed the soothing rhythm of the melody and the Sanskrit prayer to settle in. Like the quote above from yesterday, perhaps as a harbinger then, this song played only for a brief few moments; shorter than its full recording and long enough for me to research the prayer and it’s meaning. Balm for an aching heart…salve for my soul this day. Here is a link to the YouTube video of Tina Malia singing Om Sarve and the words – in Sanskrit with the English meaning follow. If you need it, please close your eyes and let it settle in.

Om Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah

Sarvesham Shantir Bhavantu
Savresham Purnam Bhavantu
Sarvesham Mangalam Bhavantu
Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah
Sarve Santu Niramayah
Sarve Bhadrani Pasyantu
Ma Kascit Duhkha Bhaghavet.
Om Shantih Shantih Shantih

May all be Healthy
May all get Peace
May all get complete wisdom
May all be blissful
Everybody be happy,
Everybody be healthy
See everybody as one
Never sadness will touch.
Om Peace Peace Peace


May your day unfold in ways that bring what you need…even if you cannot recognize it as such.

May you find what you need to transform, heal and open to the beauty of your light within so that you can shine, shine, shine.



a winter of hope

Today is the Winter Solstice. It is a beautiful day in the calendar of the natural world, if we choose to embrace its gift. The day in the year which we are told is equal in its hours of daylight and darkness, heralds a beginning of the return to light. The days begin to slowly get longer…we see a minute or two of additional light each day.

For me it is a day that inspires hope. This year, hope has become something that has become even more important as each day, week and month has unfolded.  I thought I knew what hope was, or at least I thought I understood what it meant to me. Perhaps in my naiveté, I came to believe that hope was a feeling. I either had it or I did not. This year has caused me to dig a little deeper into a variety of aspects of a life, including what hope is.

One of the books which has become a reference for me from time to time is Brene Brown’s, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You are Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You AreIf you don’t have it in your library, I highly recommend it. The beauty of books like this one is what happens when you return to it and find something that you read quite a while ago, only to see something again…for the first time. This happened to me yesterday, as I was reading the chapter  –  GuidePost #3; Cultivating A Resilient Spirit; Letting Go of Numbing and Powerlessness.  The third page has a subtitle – Hope and Powerlessness. My eyes were opened…one…more…time.

Citing the work of C.K. Snyder (former researcher at the University of Kansas, Lawrence), Dr. Brown unfolded a new way of perceiving hope. This is so empowering and seems to be a game changer. Rather than interpret for you, here is the paragraph from this section of her book.

“I was shocked to discover that hope is not  an emotion; it’s a way of thinking or a cognitive process. Emotions play a supporting role, but hope is really a thought process made up of what Snyder calls a trilogy of goals, pathways and agency. In very simple terms hope happens when:
  • We have the ability to set realistic goals (I know where I want to go).
  • We are able to figure out how to achieve those goals, including the ability to stay flexible and develop alternative routes (I know how to get there, I’m persistent, and I can tolerated disappointment and try again).
  • We believe in ourselves (I can do this!)
So, hope is a combination of setting goals, having the tenacity and perseverance to pursue them, and believing in our own abilities.
And, it that’s not news enough, here’s something else: Hope is learned!”

The times we are living in present challenges that we are capable of rising to meet – in our own way. After all, we have each chosen to be here at this time. In fact each of us has something different to offer to the collective at this time. For some of us, participating in organized activities on behalf of what we believe is right for the collective is what we choose to be and do. For some of us, writing to our representatives, or making donations to just causes to support their efforts is what we offer. Provided that we are caring for ourselves; doing our healing work on ourselves and offering loving-kindness to others – both directly and in our thoughts – we are making positive contributions to the wholeness (holiness) of life.

Believing the possibility that hope is learned and is a thought process, I also hold space for the supporting positive emotions which I believe will lift and move us forward together.

As I was looking for a specific quote that I wanted to share, I found one that was even better! Interestingly enough it apparently comes from the movie, Justice League and is attributed to the character of Lois Lane, played by Amy Adams.

“The truest darkness is not absence of light but that light will never return… But the light always returns…  Hope is real.  You can see it.  All you have to do is look up into the sky.”

As we honor, celebrate or simply observe the return of the light that the Winter Solstice offers, may we also remember hope.

Sunrise Behind the Cedars. By Loco’s Photos.

Happy Solstice, everyone.

words of comfort

I have been a fan of Brene’s Brown’s research and findings since I first heard about her and her work on vulnerability and courage. Lately I have found great comfort in at least two things she has written. First a quote that just showed up in my email box today:


“Vulnerability — the willingness to show up and be seen with no guarantee of outcome – is the only path to more love, belonging and joy. The downside? You’re going to stumble, fall and get your ass kicked.

Worth it? Yes.”

It’s a challenge to remember  the power of vulnerability when you are down yet one more time. And…this is a powerful, yet gentle reminder of the reward of being real and authentic.

I also came upon her Manifesto of the Brokenhearted while watching a live stream of a conversation she had with Oprah a year or so ago. Oprah read the last two lines of it and  it brought tears to my eyes.  I offer it here, as a gift to you in this season of healing, gratitude and love.


Manifesto of the Brave and Brokenhearted

There is no greater threat to the critics and cynics and fear mongers than those of us who are willing to fall because we have learned how to rise.

With skinned knees and bruised hearts; we choose owning our stories of struggle, over hiding, over hustling, over pretending.

When we deny our stories, they define us.

When we run from struggle, we are never free.

So we turn toward truth and look it in the eye.

We will not be characters in our stories. Not villains, not victims, not even heroes.

We are the author of our lives.

We write our own daring endings.

We craft love from heartbreak, compassion from shame, grace from disappointment, courage from failure.

Showing up is our power.

Story is our way home. Truth is our song.

We are the brave and brokenhearted.

We are rising strong.

Yes, indeed.

We are the authors of our lives and will write our own endings.

We are rising strong.


the healing journey of a lifetime

The healing journey is the journey of our lives. Every person, relationship, situation, interaction, provides bits and pieces of the matter or stuff with which we can work.

I once thought healing was a linear process. Learn, heal and move on to the next lesson. What I know now is that it is more circuitous and is linear as well. It is an interesting observation to make now, as I had hoped that at this point in my life, I would be finished with all that stuff and onto living a peaceful, quiet, comfortable, aesthetically pleasing life. Alas! All of this and more are available in every moment and of my very own creation.

The circuitous route of healing means that just when I thought it was safe to venture back into challenging, dark waters, I learn that it is not safe. The linear becomes circuitous, as I revisit those spaces, places and relationships which I thought were healed…and I feel deeply in those moments that they are not. Moreover, I find that there is yet another layer of healing just waiting for me. The deep dive that is required to look deeply into past traumas, to embrace the child within and assure her/him that all will be well, is one that is not for the faint of heart. And yet, it is the journey of our lifetime.

The more we learn, the more we can begin to change the narrative that we are running in our heads about who we are and therefore what others are as well. We project our thoughts, our stories and our wounds onto others; most especially those who are more vulnerable, are behaving in ways that we may find unacceptable or simply look different that we think they should. The more of our life energy that we invest in our healing journey, the more likely we will feel a deeper compassion for and acceptance of ourselves. When we are love, expressed as compassion, we accept. We no longer project, defend, react, etc., as we have in the past.

We take full responsibility for ourselves. We choose those with whom we will spend our precious moments; those who see us as we are and accept us without attempting to redefine, control or make us the object of their own unconscious and painful projections.

We learn through the healing process to let go; to release those people, memories and relationships which have brought to us something, in our human experience, that may have hurt or injured us. In our heart, we know that these are people who had something to remind us of within ourselves that we may not yet remember about who we really are.

We feel.

We heal.

We choose.

We create.

One of my favorite poets penned a lovely writing years ago that resonates. It initially served as a call to my heart and today it is a reminder…a most powerful one.

Everything is Waiting For You

Your great mistake is to act the drama

as if you were alone. As if life

were a progressive and cunning crime

with no witness to the tiny hidden


To feel abandoned is to deny

the intimacy of your surroundings. Surely,

even you, at times, have felt the grand array;

the swelling presence, and the chorus,

crowding out your solo voice. You must note

the way the soap dish enables you,

or the window latch grants you freedom.

Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity.

The stairs are your mentor of things

to come, the doors have always been there

to frighten you and invite you,

and the tiny speaker in the phone

is your dream-ladder to divinity.

Put down the weight of your aloneness and

ease into the conversation. The kettle is singing

even as it pours you a drink, the cooking pots

have left their arrogant aloofness and

seen the good in you at last. All the birds

and creatures of the world are unutterably

themselves. Everything is waiting for you.

Posted on Facebook 11/12/2017 by David Whyte
“Everything is Waiting for You”
Poems by David Whyte
© David Whyte and Many Rivers Press

~ ~ ~

As we continue to face the most challenging of times and circumstances, throughout the world and in our own lives, focusing on the inside healing work of the journey of our lifetime, is the most important contribution we make to our individual healing, as well as to the larger healing process of the world – from the condition of the planet to all of the relationships on this plane of existence.

We are individuals in a larger collective. We are segmented into families, communities, villages, towns, cities, states, nations, countries, to name only a few. Our healing will bring us to a realization. We will begin to wake from the slumber of forgetting and will begin to re-member. We will see ourselves in each other. We will begin to reach out to those that we may have not have considered opening to previously.

We will see all living beings as fundamental and necessary parts of our natural experience on this planet. We will find ways to consciously create our lives. We will consciously see what is real and what is not. We will no longer give ourselves up to societal demands be, look or act as we are told or see in various media. We will sense truth in ourselves and in others.

The light within will shine brighter. We will see and know our own light as it begins to shine brighter. We will see the light in others.

We will live and be Namaste consciousness.